Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has commissioned N15billion cocoa processing plant in a bid to enhance job creation in the state.
The plant known as Johnvents Industries Ltd, is an indigenous Cocoa Processing Plant in the state.
The cocoa farm, he said, will increase the country’s foreign exchange earnings, drive sustainable growth across the entire agricultural value-chain and provide jobs.
The governor, while making the remark at the commissioning of the N15billion Cocoa Processing Plant in Akure, stated that, he would continue to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive to create more jobs and drive more Investment.
Akeredolu noted that, “Nigeria is not taking advantage of the cocoa value chain as only about 10 percent of Nigeria cocoa beans is processed into cocoa butter and powder, while the rest is exported.
“We are losing about 90 per cent of our probable revenue from cocoa. I believe that the addition of Johnvents Cocoa will increase the percentage of cocoa beans processed in Nigeria.”
The governor averred that the launch of Johnvents Cocoa Processing Factory is an exciting indicator of the company’s dominance as one of Nigeria’s leading companies in the process of making cocoa production and the rest of agribusiness a profitable sector that significantly contributes to Nigeria’s economic growth and foreign exchange earnings.
Speaking during the official commissioning, the group managing director of CapitalSage, the holding company of Johnvents Industries Limited, John Alamu said: “our vision is to continuously drive sustainable growth across the entire agricultural value chain in Nigeria.
“With the abundant cocoa production in the country, our value should far exceed what it currently is. This is why we have taken the audacious step of developing a multi-billion Naira cocoa processing factory of this magnitude. This will help the country further tap into the $5billion potential value of cocoa, which we are currently not harnessing due to overreliance on cocoa beans alone.”
“Interestingly, the economic benefits of this factory go beyond its contributions to foreign exchange earnings. It will also be a big player in job creation through 300 direct jobs and over 17,000 indirect jobs for Ondo State indigenes and Nigerians across the country,” Alamu said.
The Johnvents Boss thanked all stakeholders and dignitaries for joining the company to witness history in the country’s cocoa processing business, while calling for their continued support to ensure that the country moves beyond cocoa beans production to becoming a continental and global giant in cocoa processing for local consumption and export purposes.